Pleasant Surprise

Over the last couple of months I have been researching new films, mainly because my standard film stock is creeping up in price. Its not at the point yet where I am going to abandon film, but buying 10 rolls of certain films hurts the pocket. So, being prudent and parsimonious to a fault and looking to the day when a roll of film cost £7, I began my search for a medium speed film. At the low end of the price scale I looked at Fomapan 100, AGFA APX and Rollei Retro 80S. Now I already have experience of the APX films and like them very much. Very toneful and responsive in Rodinal. No surprise there as both are AGFA products. I decided to purchase a few rolls of Fomapan 100 in 135 and Rollei Retro 80S in 120. I didn’t want to spend that much. The Fomapan 100 is still working its way through my RTS II and Olympus Pen F. The Rollei went into my beloved Yashica 124G. Last Sunday I popped out to one of my favourite local hunting grounds the Pierce field Manor. Much to my disdain I found that some idiots have now fenced off the entire site. Not very pleased about that. Still, I had an enjoyable time exposing the film.

On arrival home I developed the Rollei film in my usual way using my old time favourite developer Rodinal. Using a dilution of 1:120, 30 seconds agitation followed by five invertions every 15 minutes for 1 hour-ish. With a semi-stand development ten minutes here or there doesn’t matter. The temperature? About 22 degrees. With dilute Rodinal the temperature doesn’t really matter (Yes, I have done the tests) anything from 18 to 24 degrees will do just fine. After development was a plain water wash, again, the developer is so weak that you’re wasting money using a chemical stop. Then a four minute fix in an alkaline fixer.

I wasn’t expecting much to be honest. What I saw in the scan was pretty amazing. The grain was very low, the scan very sharp, great resolution, lovely tone. Apparently Rollei Retro 80S is a derivative of AGFA’s Aviphot Pan 80 aerial film. So that explains the great tone. I have already ordered some more. See what you think of these test shots.


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